Text & Photos: Nuno Bernardo
Not a festival, an experience. Amplifest’s editions get better each year. The beauty of Porto, Portugal, as a city conveys the beauty of the line-up presented for Amplifest’s fifth edition, and we barely had time to catch our breath with all the things happening in each room of Hard Club on the first day, from Converge and Altar of Plagues to talks and documentaries. Every single detail proved Amplifest to be more than a music event.
We witnessed talks from music writers – CVLT Nation’s Luiz Mazzetto, and now and then contributors José Carlos Santos, José Miguel Rodrigues and Emanuel Pereira – and also from notable musicians like Kurt Ballou, Stephen O’Malley and Mories. We watched an Old Man Gloom film and studied the work of the gong makers and cymbalsmiths João Pais Filipe and Steve Hubback.
Meanwhile, Juseph and Memoirs of a Secret Empire battled to showcase what the Portuguese post-rock scene has to offer these days, and Filho da Mãe led his guitar to a vibrant and infinite loop acoustic and folk music. We managed to embrace the rough violence of Full of Hell, and to catch up the dreamy notes and tones from Noveller, before standing in front of one of the last of Altar of Plagues’ farewell shows. A stunning and powerful performance from the Irish band required some ear rest at William Basinski’s peaceful atmosphere, just before the first Converge show in Portugal in five years – a comeback that fed the inner fierceness of the audience. James Kelly’s electronic adventures as WIFE then set to dance the resistant bodies, leading to a perfect ending of a perfect day.
Stay tuned for more…
Memoirs of a Secret Empire & Juseph
Filho da Mae
Full Of Hell
Altar Of Plagues